Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Shilling for Terrorism
Neve Gordon justifies terrorism (yet again):
"'Never before in history has a terrorist organization had such
state-of-the-art military equipment,' an Israeli general was quoted as
saying in the New York Times. And yet, 'Hezbollah has no armor or easily
visible storehouses or logistic lines,' the Times continued, 'and its
members live among the civilian population of southern Lebanon, storing
their weaponry in civilian buildings'....
"Article after article mentioned the homes used as repositories for
missiles, how the missiles were launched from village centers, and the way
Hezbollah guerrillas, after firing the missiles, immediately blended back
into the civilian population.
"What struck me about these descriptions was that there was really nothing
new about them; in fact, most guerilla warfare has been carried out in a
similar manner. Even the pre-state Jewish paramilitary groups that
attempted to drive the Brits out of Mandatory Palestine operated in
"Israel is certainly responsible for crimes perpetrated in
Lebanon....After all, it was not due to Israel.s warmongering,
provocations or even al-Qaeda.s horrific attacks that the human species
sharing this planet have passed a threshold where there is no horizon
beyond war. It was President Bush and his friend on 10 Downing Street who
have produced this apocalyptic reality and it is against them that our
rage must be channeled."
2. Pro-Israeli editor beaten in Bangladesh
3. Anti-Semite running for election in Minnesota:
4. The 911 conpiracy nuts merging with the neo-nazis:
5. The 655,000th Lie:
October 18, 2006
655,000 War Dead?
By STEVEN E. MOORE
October 18, 2006; Page A20
After doing survey research in Iraq for nearly two years, I was surprised
to read that a study by a group from Johns Hopkins University claims that
655,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the war. Don't get me wrong, there
have been far too many deaths in Iraq by anyone's measure; some of them
have been friends of mine. But the Johns Hopkins tally is wildly at odds
with any numbers I have seen in that country. Survey results frequently
have a margin of error of plus or minus 3% or 5% -- not 1200%.
The group -- associated with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health -- employed cluster sampling for in-person interviews, which is the
methodology that I and most researchers use in developing countries. Here,
in the U.S., opinion surveys often use telephone polls, selecting
individuals at random. But for a country lacking in telephone penetration,
door-to-door interviews are required: Neighborhoods are selected at
random, and then individuals are selected at random in "clusters" within
each neighborhood for door-to-door interviews. Without cluster sampling,
the expense and time associated with travel would make in-person
interviewing virtually impossible.
However, the key to the validity of cluster sampling is to use enough
cluster points. In their 2006 report, "Mortality after the 2003 invasion
of Iraq: a cross-sectional sample survey," the Johns Hopkins team says it
used 47 cluster points for their sample of 1,849 interviews. This is
astonishing: I wouldn't survey a junior high school, no less an entire
country, using only 47 cluster points.
Neither would anyone else. For its 2004 survey of Iraq, the United Nations
Development Program (UNDP) used 2,200 cluster points of 10 interviews each
for a total sample of 21,688. True, interviews are expensive and not
everyone has the U.N.'s bank account. However, even for a similarly sized
sample, that is an extraordinarily small number of cluster points. A 2005
survey conducted by ABC News, Time magazine, the BBC, NHK and Der Spiegel
used 135 cluster points with a sample size of 1,711 -- almost three times
that of the Johns Hopkins team for 93% of the sample size.
What happens when you don't use enough cluster points in a survey? You get
crazy results when compared to a known quantity, or a survey with more
cluster points. There was a perfect example of this two years ago. The
UNDP's survey, in April and May 2004, estimated between 18,000 and 29,000
Iraqi civilian deaths due to the war. This survey was conducted four
months prior to another, earlier study by the Johns Hopkins team, which
used 33 cluster points and estimated between 69,000 and 155,000 civilian
deaths -- four to five times as high as the UNDP survey, which used 66
times the cluster points.
6. Europe's answer to Sesame Street
October 18, 2006
The Hamas Network
By MARK DUBOWITZ and JONATHAN SNOW
October 18, 2006
With its Al Manar television station launched in 1991, the Lebanese
terrorist group Hezbollah has pioneered the use of mass media as a weapon.
It uses the broadcaster to recruit suicide bombers, raise money for
terrorist operations, conduct pre-attack surveillance and incite violence.
This fall, the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is poised to follow in
Until now, Hamas's Al Aqsa television has been broadcast only within the
Gaza Strip. But this month it will begin satellite distribution via the
Nilesat satellite, the Palestinian News Agency (Ramattan) reported in
August. This would allow Hamas to spread its message of hatred across the
Middle East, North Africa and most of Europe. Nilesat, owned by the
Egyptian government, and Arabsat, majority-owned by the Saudi government,
are the only two satellites still carrying Al Manar despite joint
U.S.-European efforts to halt its broadcasts.
For a preview of things to come, it's worth looking into the Palestinian
terror group's media operations at home. Like Hezbollah, Hamas uses its
propaganda network to support terror activities, including recruiting
suicide bombers, inculcating hatred, raising funds and providing direct
operational support to terrorist operations.
Al Aqsa TV routinely broadcasts Hamas leaders calling for jihad, songs of
incitement to murder, and videos of Hamas gunmen. Just like Hamas
newspapers, magazines, and websites, Al Aqsa programs typically feature
splashy stories glorifying the actions of "martyrs" and assurances that
through their sacrifices the "Zionist Entity" will be destroyed.
Children are specifically targeted. Hamas produces radio and television
shows and publishes an online magazine geared at preteens. A recent issue
of the magazine opens with a cartoon of a smiling child riding a rocket
while the previous issue glorified suicide bombers and other "martyrs" in
cartoons and poetry.
Hamas websites have been used to raise money for terrorist activities,
both explicitly and under the guise of "humanitarian" aid. There have been
reports, citing Israeli intelligence, that Hamas field coordinators have
used Voice of Al Aqsa radio broadcasts to provide terrorists with exact
coordinates and trajectories to fire Qassam rockets at Israeli targets.
In short, there is no reason why the West should show more leniency toward
Al Aqsa than toward Al Manar. While a few free speech activists have
defended Hezbollah's television as a legitimate programmer, American and
European governments have correctly identified it as a danger to free
society. Washington designated Al Manar a terrorist organization, making
it the first media outlet to be sanctioned under U.S. anti-terrorism laws.
The European Union ruled that Al Manar contravened its broadcast laws and
requested that European satellite providers stop carrying their programs.
Private sector companies have taken action as well. Eight out of ten
satellite providers have removed Al Manar from distribution and numerous
multinational corporations have pulled more than $2 million in annual
advertising from the station.
Similar steps can be taken to curb Hamas. The U.S. government should
designate Al Aqsa TV as a terrorist organization. This would put strict
limits on U.S. companies and banks from doing business with Al Aqsa.
Multinational companies should refuse to advertise on Al Aqsa, denying it
revenues that will ultimately go to support terrorist operations.
Finally, U.S. and European officials must put more pressure on the
Egyptian government to deny Al Aqsa, as well as Al Manar, distribution
over the Nilesat satellite. Egyptian officials cannot be interested in
helping Hezbollah and Hamas radicalize their own citizens or the
Arabic-speaking citizens of their European allies.
Given Al Manar's experience in the U.S. and Europe, Hamas may try to
soften Al Aqsa's content to give it the veneer of a legitimate TV channel.
However, policy makers and private sector executives must recognize a
simple truth: Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of innocent civilians
and until that changes, its television broadcasts will be used to further
A decade passed before the international community recognized the dangers
posed by Hezbollah's Al Manar. Similar mistakes must not be made with Al
Aqsa. Otherwise, in too many European and Middle Eastern homes, Hamas's
hate TV could become the must-see fall programming for a new generation of
Mr. Dubowitz leads the Coalition Against Terrorist Media, a project of the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Mr. Snow, who is writing a
book on Hamas media, is manager of research for FDD.
7. No comment: